An Update on Blue Origin

Van Horn spaceport gets NASA backing
El Paso Times

The project’s most visible breakthrough came in 2006, when it vertically flew and landed an egg-shaped rocket it calls New Shepard.

Last month, Blue Origin was one of five commercial aerospace companies to receive federal money for rocket research. NASA awarded the company $3.7 million to work on an advanced technology, which detaches a crew cabin from its launcher if the shuttle malfunctions.

The link with NASA placed the company as a finalist in the suborbital space race. It gave more credibility to the project, which has been silent about most developments for about three years. Federal Aviation Administration officials said Blue Origin does not have an active experimental flight permit. But the company could be getting ready to launch three people into space in 2011 and 2012.

Until then, company executives said, they would not reveal any more information.

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